Innovation informed by continuous customer discovery will be vital to overcoming the diverse hurdles in the global energy transition.

FREMONT, CA: In the past few years, it has become a near-consensus among experts that displacing diesel production with solar and storage energy solutions makes interesting sense. Not only does diesel creation have unsustainable health and environmental impacts, but it is incredibly expensive and leaves consumers vulnerable to fuel price volatility. Using clean and abundant solar is a simple solution to remediate the sustainability and socio-economic issues caused by diesel generation.

Solar power generation has been well-established as a low-cost and proven technology over the years. However, key issues related to intermittency have made it cumbersome to effectively incorporate solar into a reliable power system. These integration hurdles, caused by both the predictable and unpredictable intermittence of solar generation, can be remediated using energy storage to level the production curve. But deploying solar and storage is such a simple route to mitigating diesel reliance.

The root cause for the slow adoption of solar energy in markets is the lack of storage deployments. Solar is an easy-to-deploy technology. However, the lack of storage limits the impact of solar energy in the markets that require it most. There are three key hurdles to storage deployment in emerging markets. They are stalling the deployment of solar and storage in emerging markets with the highest potential for impact. Energy storage projects need large upfront investment, but they make economic sense when considering the ensuing savings and reduced operating costs. Most customers in emerging markets are familiar with diesel-centric power budgets, which need high recurring monthly expenditures on fuel and maintenance while low in upfront cost.

The requirement for substantial customer commitment before system implementation has stalled solar and storage penetration in emerging markets. Existing customer cost structures have constrained storage implementations to a small sub-set of forward-looking enterprises that can afford to make vast upfront investments in their energy systems. Mobile energy storage leasing is a cost-effective model that breaks the existing hurdles to storage deployment in high-impact communities. Making energy storage more attainable will result in increased solar penetration and the reduction of unsustainable diesel-reliance throughout the globe.